Getting away from the predictability that is the working world in Singapore is no easy task. Sitting at a desk for eight hours a day, five times a week probably wasn’t what our caveman ancestors had in mind, but by God, have we perfected the art as Singaporeans. That being said, we’ve also perfected the art of utilising our weekends to their utmost potential. Staycations (a portmanteau that we never liked) have come to embody the true Singaporean way of living – practical, easy get-aways that don’t require much planning on our parts.
That being said, we’ve grown pretty damned bored of staycations at the usual places though. Brunch at Clarke Quay followed by checking into a nearby boutique hotel with dinner and drinks planned at some uber-crowded joint, surrounded by 18-year-olds on their first night drinking. For the staycationers (yes, we hate this one too) looking to expand their tiny red dot’s borders, look to the east as Gandalf would say.
We’ve heard the argument several times before. East versus west, which is better – who is further away from the city, who has the nicest cafes – we’ll let you all settle that. For those wanting to try out the east for a weekend however, you now can. The newly-opened Hotel Indigo Singapore Katong is the latest addition to the East Coast Rd stretch and an honest-to-God Instagram temptation. Sitting straight in the middle of Katong (next to the poorly-named I12), the Peranakan-themed hotel brings out the best of both traditional and modern design touches, reflecting the neighbourhood it sits in.
Old School Cool
We’ve seen plenty of faux-vintage hotels across the years and while the colonial vibe does have its plus points, seeing a Singer sewing machine, carrom boards and those hideously authentic chairs with rubber straps was enough to send this writer on a “feels” trip back to his grandmother’s house. Somehow, it’s almost a matter of local pride that the combination of such design elements (the Good Morning towels play a large role) complements the rooms well. Each room also sees a mural designed by local illustrator, emphasising on the heritage of the area.
Modern Day Luxury
For all the talk on tradition, put a modern Singaporean in a kampung for the weekend and we’d probably hate it. Thankfully, Hotel Indigo Singapore Katong has all the amenities and luxuries that a modern day hotel should provide. We’re looking at a 24 hour gym, an infinity pool, and impeccable service from the staff.
A Foodie Paradise
We live and die for Katong Laksa so being so close to heart of it all did contribute to the wow factor. Location-wise, the hotel makes it very easy to turn a staycation into a glutton’s itinerary what with the several eateries around the corner. Burgers, nasi padang, Vietnamese food, Thai food, French food, you name it and Katong has it. If you’re looking to round out the Peranakan-styled theme though, head on to Baba Chews, the adjoining restaurant at the hotel. It’s a blend of old and new with dishes like the ayam buah keluak burger and chilli crab cakes with mantou chips but do remember that the restaurant serves different menus at different times of the day (a good reason to keep coming back, really).
A word of warning to the Instagram husbands, you WILL be made to work here.
For more information, log on to Hotel Indigo Singapore Katong’s site here.